Women asked to be in a wedding party often complain about having to shell out big money for a dress in a hideous shade of purple that they will never wear again in their entire lives. Being a bridesmaid isn’t cheap, but the cost of being an attendant for the groom can add up too. According to a Huffington Post article, being a groomsman is in fact a more expensive endeavor than being a bridal attendant. Breaking down each item, such as the average cost of wedding clothing for both sexes, it seems the men pay more.
However, being invited to be the best man or a groomsman doesn’t need to break the bank. By taking on some of the biggest ticket items, some money can be saved with a bit of planning.
The Bachelor Party
Movies and TV hype the bachelor party as a huge part of the wedding. Whether you go to the strip club or invite the entertainment to your or your friend’s home, “strip club” type bachelor parties can be an expensive disaster. Paying strip club prices for every beer, plus lap dances and other VIP “entertainment” can top thousands of dollars even if you only invite a close circle of friends. Workers in adult nightclubs are trained to ask you to buy them drinks and bottles of champagne, running up your credit card faster than you can say “Take it Off!”. If you have the stripper in your home or your friends home, having to transport the “entertainer’ to and from the venue and pay for the entertainment plus liability for any insurance or legal claims adds up quickly.
Splashing out on a big affair in an adult nightclub or hiring adult entertainment can not only be bad for your pocketbook, but bad for relationships. Cosmopolitan magazine talks about how behavior with strippers can harm a relationship, just when the bride and groom should be the happiest. Even if the groom plans not to cheat, peer pressure from “The Buddy Factor” has men doing the unthinkable after you get him “good and drunk”.
The object of the bachelor party should be to trade old stories and have a few beers; not wreck the reputation of the groom. If you want the groom’s future wife to invite you over for football Sunday’s after the wedding, don’t spend money on strippers.
Combine Wedding Trip with Vacation
Say a friend is getting married in Boston. When planning your travel, combine it with your yearly vacation. Plan to spend a few days with your friend and do your duty as groomsmen, and then head further north for a lovely vacations in the White Mountains of New Hampshire or other New England destination. One air fare, two purposes.
Save the Drinking For After the “I do”
Good decisions are not made in a drunken haze. Having a boatload of booze on hand for before the ceremony, while you’re helping the groom put on his tie, is a bad idea. Like tip #1, you don’t want to help the groom make an idiot out of himself before the reception gets started, and it’s your duty to make sure your friend or family member is sober when he takes his vows and makes that lifelong commitment. Some friends and family, with whom you haven’t shared a social occasion in decades, may be recovering alcoholics and don’t need a shot of tequila under their nose right before the ceremony.
If you and a buddy are driving to the same wedding, why not carpool? If your visit includes the need for a hotel stay, either ask to stay at a friend’s home who lives in town or share a hotel room with another out-of-towner. It not only saves money but can make a long road trip much more enjoyable. You don’t have to stay at the same posh hotel where the wedding is held. A cheaper motel might be just a cab ride away after the reception.
Yes, it’s an honor to be asked to be in a wedding, but some guys are just popular picks for not so close friends who are having an extravagant affair with seven or more groomsmen. Say “Yes” only to the ones that matter. If given the choice between your fraternity pal whom you only connect with on Facebook, and your brother, you may have to choose just one affair per year. You can always graciously bow out by citing work commitments or other obligations if it’s a distant relation or friend who just needs an even number to match the bride’s party. Or you may just tell the truth that you are low on cash due to a prior commitment, and add that you will be delighted to attend as a guest instead.
A Word to the Groom
If a brother, in-laws and/or best friends are out of work, or under other financial pressures, consider their feelings when asking them to be in the wedding party. Have an honest talk with friends and family when planning your celebration. Just rushing out and expecting all of your groomsmen be able to afford what you choose is inconsiderate. If who is standing by your side on your big day is more important than what they are wearing, compare prices at retailers to get a good deal. Your future father-in-law may be struggling under the monumental costs incurred by the bride’s family. Why not discreetly pick up the tab for the bride’s father’s or best man’s tux rental when you pay for your own as a gift?
An article on Money Crashers, suggests many ways to save money on male wedding apparel, such as wearing suits instead of tuxes or asking for a package deal when you choose your style.
Good luck out there!